U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there were many options short of war with Iran after U.S. ally Saudi Arabia displayed remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in a crippling attack on its oil sites that was “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran.
“There are many options. There’s the ultimate option and there are options that are a lot less than that. And we’ll see,” Trump told reporters in Los Angeles. “I’m saying the ultimate option meaning go in — war.”
The president struck a cautious note as his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during a visit to Saudi Arabia, described the attacks as “an act of war” on the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter.
Trump said on Twitter that he had ordered the U.S. Treasury to “substantially increase sanctions” on Iran, which denies carrying out the attacks, and told reporters the unspecified, punitive economic measures would be unveiled within 48 hours.
Trump’s tweet followed repeated U.S. assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind Saturday’s attacks and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a “test of global will”.